Have Confidence in Yourself ~ Fr. Edward Garesche

Painting by Charles Courtney, 1861 – 1942

Overconfidence is a vice. Overtimidity is likewise a vice in the other direction. Between these two extremes lies the fine, wholesome, cheerful self-confidence that everyone should possess. Such confidence is not vanity and bragging, but it gives vigor to the mind, courage to the heart, and cheerfulness to the soul.

Few things are more necessary for true and lasting success in life than this. One who is overconfident is rash, pretentious, and vain. He will not make the necessary efforts to succeed, but will rely on his own powers when he should depend on industry and hard work. He is likely to become soured from sad experience. He will not succeed where he expected to succeed, because he expects too much.

On the other hand, he who lacks sufficient confidence, who is overly timid and ever fearful, is still less likely to prosper. He is cowardly about trying new enterprises. He is diffident about undertaking responsibility. It is usually true that when a person thinks he cannot do a thing, he cannot. The attitude with which one tackles a job has a great deal to do with his success or failure in it.

The timid man is beaten before he begins to fight. He has failed before he starts his work. The overconfident man refuses to take the necessary precautions, to make the needful calculations, and to spend the right energy, and so he also fails.

The man with firm, reasonable confidence goes at his task with energy and industry. He takes all the needful care, he makes all the necessary calculations, but he makes them with hopeful enthusiasm.

Some persons are by nature endowed with the spirit of confidence. They look on the bright side of everything. They have a substantial esteem of their own powers. This does not mean that they are vain or presumptuous, because they actually possess the qualities and capacities that make for confidence. These are the gifts of God, and it is right to recognize them, at the same time rendering thanks to the Giver.

Those who are blessed with the spirit of confidence should take good care to bring this disposition under the control of reason and not to allow it to degenerate into presumption, false confidence, or excessive self-reliance.

They are quite justified in admitting all the good qualities they possess and making the most of them, for this is what God intends. But they are very wrong to attribute these good qualities to themselves or to rely too much on their personal capacities and, therefore, to dispense themselves from hard work.

Even the most talented persons have to toil and make efforts to use their talents. One who has very mediocre gifts, but a capacity for hard work will do more, be more, and achieve more in life than one who has very brilliant talents, but refuses to work to develop them.

One who is naturally timid, diffident, and lacks due confidence in himself ought to try to develop this necessary quality. He ought to look deliberately on the bright side of his character, to seek out and cultivate the gifts that he has by nature. A great deal depends, for such persons, on the choice of occupations in which they are qualified to succeed.

If such a person takes up a task that is too hard for him or goes into work for which he is temperamentally and constitutionally unfit, the inevitable failure will increase his diffidence. If, however, he takes up something he can do well and works virtuously to achieve success, the very success itself will increase his self-confidence.

Well-ordered self-confidence is rooted in the will. One’s feelings are very unsatisfactory and unreliable guides. They change like the wind. Now they incline us to be courageous; now they move us to timidity.

A sensible person will never yield to his feelings when they tend to discourage him. He will bring everything to the bar of reason, and, if he finds that he has no reason to be discouraged, he will disregard his feelings.

Sometimes the criticism and opposition of others tend to discourage us and make us lose confidence. But it is virtuous to draw a profit from such opposition and not be hindered by it. If those who oppose us have good reasons for doing so, let us find out the reasons and correct them. If they are merely resisting us out of spite or enmity, let us arouse within us “the stern joy that warriors feel in foemen worthy of their steel.”(Sir Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake)

Or, if these foemen be not worthy, let us at least use them as means to exercise ourselves in courageous resistance.

The skill that comes from practice in any art or occupation is a great source of confidence. Young people often lack self-confidence, because they are inexperienced. They have never tested themselves in the rough skirmishes of life, or never tried out their powers against opposition. But when they have had some practice in affairs, have won some victories, and have gained some skill, then confidence comes.

Hence, by merely living on courageously, and exercising oneself in achievement, one gains more self-confidence.

💖💐When you consecrate your marriage to Jesus and put it under the Mantle of Our Lady, your nuptial journey will have a special protection and many blessings along the way…. 💖💐

Come and join me as I pray a form of Morning Prayers that I have used through the years….
Come and join me as I pray a form of Night Prayers that I have used through the years….

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This magnificent set is an heirloom that should be in every Catholic home library.

Listen to Fr. Edward Looney’s The Mystical City of God in a Year Podcast while reading the books.

Dictated to Venerable Mary of Agreda (1602–1665) by the Blessed Mother herself, The Mystical City of God is an amazing collection of four books of revelations about the life of Our Lady and the divine plan for creation and the salvation of souls that has been enthralling readers for centuries.

Sr. Mary of Agreda was a Franciscan abbess and spiritual writer from Spain.  She was a noted mystic and prolific writer who authored many books. Reports of her bilocation between Spain and the US (New Mexico and Texas) have been retold for centuries and inspired generations of Franciscan missionaries in the New World.  

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